To do or not to do: the cash bar version. I am not a fan of the cash bar. At both of my weddings (I know), it was very important to me that people enjoy themselves without having to pull out cash. When you invite folks to your wedding, you are often asking that they travel – meaning plane fare or gas money, as well as a hotel — that they wear fancy clothes and, perhaps, that take time off from work. They also frequently buy you a gift. That’s a lot. To ask them then to pay for their beer seems like too much to me. I wouldn’t ask them to pay for a drink at a barbecue in my backyard, how could I do so at my wedding? Now then, I acknowledge that not every one (a) sees things this way and/or (b) has the luxury of doing things this way. I will not argue that if you can afford to throw a wedding at all, you can afford to provide your guests with booze, but instead offer my thoughts on ways to manage your liquor bill reasonably. I have been to many a wedding where wine and beer is free, but cocktails cost some change. I have been to a wedding where the bride and groom have chosen a fun specialty cocktail to offer, as well as wine and beer. I think these are very reasonable ways to deal with alcohol expenses. I have been to the Miller Lite only wedding, which I think is really stretching things on the tack-factor scale. The worst, though, was the wedding I attended at a super out-of-the-way resort with a two-night minimum stay where, post-dinner, the bride & groom provided guests one barrel of beer and once that was empty, everyone was on their own.
But I guess that really isn’t the worst. The worst it seems is the latest (and only the second I think) Bachelorette wedding. Ashley Hebert & JP Rosenbaum wed December 1 in Pasadena. The big event was filmed and will air this week on ABC. Apparently, ABC paid for the event, but after production stopped, the bar went from free to cash. And, this being Pasadena, cocktails were in the $16 range. Holy tack-asaurus. Now, perhaps it was just bad planning, but if you’re going to get an essentially free wedding, the least you could do is pay for the booze. I do not recommend this approach.